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The power of data in Logistics 4.0: Leveraging technology for success and supply chain resilience

Dexory recently released its guide to the power of data in Logistics 4.0, exploring the ways in which organisations can consider and adopt technology and data to achieve success and supply chain resilience, by looking at key technologies and processes, as well as the value of data, that are driving the evolution of logistics in today’s rapidly evolving supply chain landscape.

Understanding the movement of digitisation

As a concept, Logistics 4.0 has emerged in the last decade and is still in the process of evolving. There is no fixed time frame for the transition, as the pace of adoption and implementation of new technologies and processes varies depending on industry, geography and organisational culture.

Some companies, such as Tesla’s Gigafactory in Berlin has already begun to implement logistics 4.0 technologies and processes, while others are still in the early stages of exploring the possibilities. It is expected that the adoption will accelerate in the coming years as more organisations recognise the potential benefits of digital transformation and seek to remain competitive in an increasingly complex and fast-paced business environment.

Current evolution of logistics

Some key trends and developments driving the evolution of logistics today include:

1. Increased use of automation - automation technologies such as robotics automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), and autonomous vehicles to improve warehouse efficiency, reduce labour costs and improve safety.

2. Integration of data analytics - leveraging data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to gain insights into supply chain operations, optimise routes and improve inventory management.

3. Growth of eCommerce - the rise of eCommerce has led to increased demand for fast and reliable delivery, driving the adoption of new technologies such as drones and delivery robots.

4. Need to build supply chain resilience - creating a highly intelligent capability to ensure greater visibility of operations supported by analytical techniques and artificial intelligence.

5. Emphasis on sustainability - growing awareness of the environmental impact of logistics operations, driving the adoption of environmental practices such as green logistics, reverse logistics and circular economy models.

6. Shift towards customer-centricity - increased focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience, driving the adoption of technologies such as real-time tracking, personalised shipping options and easy returns.

Learn more about the evolution of logistics and its technological shift.

Gain more business intelligence for supply chain resilience through real-time data

Intelligent supply chain visibility, both at a structural and dynamic level, has its own characteristics and benefits, through the collection of real-time data. Structural visibility provides a snapshot of their operations at a point in time or over a certain period, whereas dynamic visibility allows companies to monitor and respond to events in real-time.

Therefore, real-time data from the warehouse can provide valuable business intelligence that can support organisations optimise their warehouse operations and improve overall supply chain performance. For instance, real-time data can massively improve inventory management since it can provide accurate and up to date information about inventory levels, helping organisations to optimise which in turn reduces waste and improves order fulfilment accuracy. Other optimisation include the enhanced operation visibility, better resource allocation, the reduction of downtime and the upgrade of organisations' customer service.

Moving towards the future - Logistics 4.0

Supply chain resilience through visibility are critical components in the journey to logistics 4.0, with data playing a major role to realise the opportunities. Data enables organisations to quickly identify and respond to disruptions, minimise risk, and optimise supply chain operations for maximum efficiency and profitability.

Logistics 4.0 can improve supply chain resilience through:

1. Real-time data and analytics with instant visibility into the entire supply chain, from supplier to customer.

2. Cloud-based platforms to enabling organisations to centralise supply chain data, making it accessible to all stakeholders in real-time.

3. IoT and sensors for providing real-time visibility into inventory levels, shipment locations and other key data points. 

4. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to analyse supply chain data and identify patterns and trends.

5. Blockchain technology for providing a secure and transparent way to track products throughout the supply chain, ensuring authenticity, traceability and accountability.

Read more about how Logistics 4.0 can improve supply chain resilience.

By adopting digital technologies, transparency and accountability are brought into the supply chain - hence data analytics is going to make everyone’s life easier. The speed of adoption of technologies can play a significant role in how quickly an organisation can transition to Logistics 4.0 and potentially Logistics 5.0. Those that embrace and adopt at a faster pace can expedite their journey. 

While the transition to logistics 4.0 may take several years or even decades for some companies, the ultimate goal is to create a fully digital and automated supply chain that is highly efficient, sustainable and customer focused. But the journey doesn’t stop here.

If you’d like to learn more, download the full guide here -

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This company has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 849938